The Happy Cottage

Small Garden Inspiration

This blog was started in Jan. 2017 on a cold bright winter day in my 1945 cottage home.  Photos of the Spring 2016 garden inspired me. Winter is after all, the perfect time for gardeners to daydream of Spring.

Join me for small garden inspiration interspersed with lifestyle.   Please share some of your ideas too!


Many older posts include slideshows, so give the first photo a click to start the show. Categories have been added below Archives to allow easier viewing of past posts: Artful Combinations and Pollinators may give you some good ideas for your garden.  Checkout the Butterfly and Moth Compendium for a catalog of sightings.

My gardening/lifestyle ethos: support Mother Earth and yourself by being as natural as possible.

Don't use synthetic chemicals and weed instead of spray. Include host and nectar plants for pollinators. Favorite garden medium:  organic mushroom compost. It's the soil that mushrooms were grown in.       

Full disclosure:  We do use biological mosquito dunks.


My gardening style has evolved over twenty years to include scent, food for butterflies, pollinators and birds 

and shelter for small creatures.  A multi-dimensional garden will bring you years of enjoyment!



March 30, 2017

Occasionally, we all like to observe the night sky above us.  The need to feel connection with the stars and planets is in us all.  I recently found a great blog with information for novices as well as the more informed  "astronomer":  earthsky.org.  I subscribed a few...

March 29, 2017

Polygonatum odoratum variegatum,  The botanical name describes two components of this beauty.  The creamy highlights against the green foliage are wonderful.  I confess that I have never experienced the scent while standing up.  I have to get on my hands and knees. Per...

March 22, 2017

I spotted one of our frogs on the first day of Spring.  We have a small garden pond in the backyard which brings us much entertainment.  Today, I was shocked to see a humming bird moth feeding on the creeping phlox out front.  Normally, I don't notice them until the su...

March 22, 2017

We have another week with roller coaster temperatures forecast, so I took a photo before things get cold hurt  Here's an epimedium that has emerged by a hellebore.  I'll consider dividing this plant in the future to extend the effect in the hellebore bed.   I purchased...

March 20, 2017

We've all been waiting for it!  Now, I can start planting a few things in Durham, North Carolina.   The lead photo is from the Facebook page of The Chalice Well Garden in Glastonbury, UK.  I think it perfectly represents the beauty and promise of early Spring...

March 17, 2017

We've had this shamrock for two years.  We bought it in a pot at Whole Foods.  It has suffered some from the cold snap, but will recover.

Happy St. Patrick's day everyone!

March 17, 2017

We are still experiencing unusual weather here, this time in the opposite direction-  brrrrr.  The cold brings out the big birds and I'm still seeing our winter dark eyed juncos.  The juncos will migrate north in a couple of weeks.  Our favorite brand of bird seed is...

March 13, 2017

This photo was taken late in the day on Feb. 25, 2017 while sitting on a picnic blanket. Warm front meeting a cold front: unsettling, but beautiful weather.   We reached a high of 81 degrees in Durham, NC.